Workings of a Local Food Farm

 

Most of us are interested in eating locally grown food these days, and some of us even try to grow as much of our own food as we can. Try as I may, I don’t seem to be able to keep enough growing to insure that I’m well fed. There are certain times of the year that I seem to have more time to do the nurturing (and work) that is involved, but at other times, I get too busy with my teaching career and something called “Life.”

Fortunately, there are some who make their career out of producing food for the rest of us. Such is the case with Chas Canon and his family. Our Garden Club made a trip to his acreage here in Ocean View in late October of this past year. If you’re like me (and if you read my blog regularly, I suspect you are), you enjoy seeing where your food comes from.

Rather than elaborate too much on what we saw there, I’m going to give you a quick look at what he grows and how he grows it. Please click on the slide show at the bottom to see all of these pictures, and more.

There is a deep gulch on the property where he grows a few things at the bottom – even along the edge of the gulch as shown here.

 

Path to the gulch
Path to the gulch

 

Growth in the gulch
Growth in the gulch

 

Up above near the house, we were shown how he mulches, sets out the irrigation lines, and grows great produce.

 

 

I don’t even get tomatoes like this that I try to grow intentionally!

Volunteer tomatoes
Volunteer tomatoes

 

Here is where it all starts.

 

He showed us the book that he follows religiously. I promptly ordered a copy for myself. It is put out by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. Cornell University strongly supports the organic food movement.

 

Look for his produce at our local farmer’s market on most Saturday mornings.

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

You’ll get much more out of this if you watch it in full size here.

19 thoughts on “Workings of a Local Food Farm”

  1. Wow….proof that where there is a will…..
    I’m going to share this blog post with a group in which I’m a member we call BISS (Big Island Self Sufficiency) where many of the members are trying to achieve a sustainable life, or as much as possible with the limitations of their land and location.

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    1. People have no idea just how hard it is to get anything going here in Ocean View. I thought it would be helpful for people to see what can be done. These guys sell their produce at the local swap meet on Saturday, which is about as close to a “farmers’ market” as it gets here. Also, I’ll forward something else to you on email that I recently got from the gal who gave me so many lilikoi recently.
      Aloha,
      Lucy

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    1. He may be growing blueberries, but I’m not sure. I’ll check with him to see. I have a couple plants here at my place, but so far, they haven’t done much. Even at 2300 feet, I suspect it’s not cool enough, although the ones I have are designed to be grown in Southern California and Florida. I had hoped they would grow here, and they may still. Sometimes I’m not very patient! 🙂
      Aloha,
      Lucy

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  2. Thanks Lucy,
    I saw on PunaWeb (I think) that someone was planning to “ice down” their blueberry bushes to essentially provide a false cold season. Wonder if it will work…

    I think its great you folks seem to have a pretty active garden club/group. Do you think you can grow lavender where your at?

    Best, Ann

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    1. Aloha, Ann! I just found your last two comments in my Spam file! Not sure how they got there, but thanks for your comments! I have buds on my blueberries now, and they are supposed to be bred for this kind of climate. We’ve had cool mornings, so that might be helping them. I’m not sure about lavender, although I do love it. When I first moved in here and started experimenting, I tried one plant from the nursery, but it didn’t make it. Maybe I’ll try again.
      Aloha,
      Lucy

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  3. I’ve tried growing edible lavender here and it will do for a little while and then die. I was told we get too much rain to grow them…yet in Laupahoehoe just about 15 – 20 miles north of us, there is someone growing several varieties of lavender – both edible and non – successfully…

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  4. Ohhh Sonia, do you have the folk’s contact info that are growing the lavender you mention? I am starting to look for local growers of lavender on the big island. Thank you! And, BTW, I just bought your book! Planning to try some recipes soon.

    Lavender tends to really like dryer climates, I was thinking it might grow where Lucy is at, I’ll have to search more about that.

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    1. I’ll forward your comment to Sonia, although she reads this blog fairly regularly, so she might see it. I still do want to try lavender. You’re right – with a drier climate, I might have some luck.
      Thanks!
      Lucy

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  5. Mahalo, Lucy….I had check on having the site notify me if a comment was made as a reply to my previous one here.

    Ann, I wrote an article about them for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in November 04 – it was one of my last weekly columns I wrote for them. ….you can also find it at my pages of posts in Gather.com – http://foodiesleuth.gather.com

    The Waipunalei Lavender & Coffee Farm on Stevens Road in Laupahoehoe is the joint project of husband and wife team Dwight and Pua Tokumoto 962-6615 ( I hope this is still their number) – Local Harvest listing might be out of date: http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M11635

    If you do a google search using The Waipunalei Lavender & Coffee Farm, my article at Gather.com comes up as one of the search finds

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  6. Thank you Sonia for the links. Such a small world, I had read that article about 6 months ago when I started looking for lavender growers on the island. Would you mind if I used a couple of the recipes you’ve included in that article on my lavender blog? I will of course give credit? THanks again. Ann

    And Lucy! Yes, try lavender again, it is such a useful plant! A great one to add to your herbal culinary, crafting and medicine chest.

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  7. How funny. I find the older I grow the more connected everyone is in some degree or other…. 😉
    Of course you can use the recipes, Ann, but they are Pua’s not mine… The credit belongs to her. – let me know when you publish the blog post!

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  8. Hi Lucy and Sonia, figured the easiest way to let you both know about posting the recipes was through this comment thread, sorry to keep adding to it. Anyway, I’ve posted the recipes here http://lavenderbundle.wordpress.com. I’m just getting the hang of wordpress and sometimes it doesn’t let me move things around and change font size, so such as it is. I’ve also posted it on our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Red-Lodge-MT/The-Lavender-Bundle-Store-and-Farms/277225181840?ref=nf

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  9. Aloha Lucy!
    I love what you are doing here, and I am gaining so much info. about the organizations around the Island! Oh and by the way, I am growing blueberries at my house. There is a strain of blueberries that do not require “wintering” and produce well in the tropics. I get wonderful plump berries off of my bush, I only wish I had heard about this strain earlier!

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    1. Thank you for your comments! It helps to keep me going! My two blueberry plants are full of blooms, and tiny blueberries just starting. I was afraid these wouldn’t bloom, but I found the strains that do well here. I think they are “Springwide” and “Emerald,” and there was a different one that didn’t make it. I’ve heard you should have a couple different varieties so they will pollinate better.
      Aloha,
      Lucy

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  10. Would really like to know the variety of blueberries Darin is growing at his house. How many years old are your berry bushes Lucy?

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    1. I put mine less than a year ago (I think fall), and they are full of blooms. If someone had a yard of “real” soil, they wouldn’t have a hard time at all. The varieties I have were also developed to survive without the cold, in sub-tropical areas like Florida or Southern California. I have Springwide and Emerald.
      Aloha,
      Lucy

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